Teach Your Kids To Cook: Oatmeal

My kids are growing.  Everyday they seem to be taller, stronger and more capable.  Each morning as they stumble up to breakfast, I notice their pajama pant legs seem to creep higher and higher up their calf.  I LOVE IT.

But…

They’re also eating more.  I can’t seem to keep enough food in the house to satisfy their appetites.  The first week of summer, they ate all the snack food in the entire house.  In. Two. Days.  It was supposed to last us all week.

I had to regroup.  There were staving children pilfering my pantry. 🙂

I needed food that was healthy, inexpensive and something they could make themselves.  As a registered dietitian, I refuse to buy many of the ready-to-eat snack foods or their frozen counterparts.  They have too much fat, make you feel sluggish and I don’t want to lead my kiddos down that road.  I don’t think you do either.

But this means- there isn’t anything ready-to-eat.  They can’t just grab a bag of fruit snacks, a handful of crackers.  Most healthy snacks and meals require a bit of prep work.

So here is my solution: Teach My Kids To Cook.

berries-in-hand

Daunting.  I know.

But we’ve started and it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be.  They each have their own recipe book and we’re learning to make one recipe a week.  (I’ll have a post coming about their recipe books soon!)

This week: Oatmeal.

I love oatmeal.  I know it’s a typical breakfast food, but have you ever had oatmeal for lunch on a cold day?  Delicious.  For an afternoon snack?  So filling.  It’s a healthy snack that my kids make anytime of day, packed full of quality nutrition and filling, filling fiber.  (BTW- oatmeal is so incredibly affordable!!!  One of the cheapest foods on the market.)  My husband even keeps some in his office desk for busy days.

The secret for having kids make it on their own will be buying the right oatmeal.  There are usually three varieties available: steel-cut, old-fashioned and quick cooking.

Pick the quick oats.  They can be cooked in the microwave in a minute.  The other two require stove top time.  We’ll learn about those another day.

oatmeal-with-kid-hands

Below is the recipe for your kiddo to write in their notebook.  As he writes the ingredient list, help him remember his favorite toppings and write them on the list.  Really cater it to him.  Give him some suggestions of common pairings: cinnamon and apples, blueberries and strawberries, peaches and cream, etc.

Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or honey)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Topping options:
    • Your favorite fruit (strawberries, blueberries and apples are especially delicious), almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, yogurt, raisins
    • My favorite toppings: ____________________________

Directions:

  1. Put the oats into a microwave safe bowl.  Add 3/4 cup water.  Put uncovered in microwave for 1 minute.
  2. With a hot pad, remove bowl from microwave.  Be careful, it will be very hot.  Stir in milk and brown sugar.  Add the toppings and stir.

 

I’m hoping this investment in teaching my kids will progress to them helping me with dinner because I need it!  Unplug today and connect with your kids,

Love Dawnie

 

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